The Mesa 3D Graphics Library

Development Notes

Coding Style

Mesa is over 20 years old and the coding style has evolved over time. Some old parts use a style that's a bit out of date. If the guidelines below don't cover something, try following the format of existing, neighboring code.

Basic formatting guidelines

Submitting patches

The basic guidelines for submitting patches are:

Patch formatting

The basic rules for patch formatting are:

Testing Patches

It should go without saying that patches must be tested. In general, do whatever testing is prudent.

You should always run the Mesa test suite before submitting patches. The test suite can be run using the 'make check' command. All tests must pass before patches will be accepted, this may mean you have to update the tests themselves.

Whenever possible and applicable, test the patch with Piglit to check for regressions.

Mailing Patches

Patches should be sent to the Mesa mailing list for review. When submitting a patch make sure to use git send-email rather than attaching patches to emails. Sending patches as attachments prevents people from being able to provide in-line review comments.

When submitting follow-up patches you can use --in-reply-to to make v2, v3, etc patches show up as replies to the originals. This usually works well when you're sending out updates to individual patches (as opposed to re-sending the whole series). Using --in-reply-to makes it harder for reviewers to accidentally review old patches.

When submitting follow-up patches you should also login to patchwork and change the state of your old patches to Superseded.

Reviewing Patches

When you've reviewed a patch on the mailing list, please be unambiguous about your review. That is, state either

    Reviewed-by: Joe Hacker <>
    Acked-by: Joe Hacker <>
Rather than saying just "LGTM" or "Seems OK".

If small changes are suggested, it's OK to say something like:

   With the above fixes, Reviewed-by: Joe Hacker <>
which tells the patch author that the patch can be committed, as long as the issues are resolved first.

Marking a commit as a candidate for a stable branch

If you want a commit to be applied to a stable branch, you should add an appropriate note to the commit message.

Here are some examples of such a note:

Simply adding the CC to the mesa-stable list address is adequate to nominate the commit for the most-recently-created stable branch. It is only necessary to specify a specific branch name, (such as "9.2 10.0" or "10.0" in the examples above), if you want to nominate the commit for an older stable branch. And, as in these examples, you can nominate the commit for the older branch in addition to the more recent branch, or nominate the commit exclusively for the older branch. This "CC" syntax for patch nomination will cause patches to automatically be copied to the mesa-stable@ mailing list when you use "git send-email" to send patches to the mesa-dev@ mailing list. Also, if you realize that a commit should be nominated for the stable branch after it has already been committed, you can send a note directly to the where the Mesa stable-branch maintainers will receive it. Be sure to mention the commit ID of the commit of interest (as it appears in the mesa master branch). The latest set of patches that have been nominated, accepted, or rejected for the upcoming stable release can always be seen on the Mesa Stable Queue page.

Criteria for accepting patches to the stable branch

Mesa has a designated release manager for each stable branch, and the release manager is the only developer that should be pushing changes to these branches. Everyone else should simply nominate patches using the mechanism described above. The stable-release manager will work with the list of nominated patches, and for each patch that meets the crtieria below will cherry-pick the patch with: git cherry-pick -x <commit>. The -x option is important so that the picked patch references the comit ID of the original patch. The stable-release manager may at times need to force-push changes to the stable branches, for example, to drop a previously-picked patch that was later identified as causing a regression). These force-pushes may cause changes to be lost from the stable branch if developers push things directly. Consider yourself warned. The stable-release manager is also given broad discretion in rejecting patches that have been nominated for the stable branch. The most basic rule is that the stable branch is for bug fixes only, (no new features, no regressions). Here is a non-exhaustive list of some reasons that a patch may be rejected:

Making a New Mesa Release

These are the instructions for making a new Mesa release.

Get latest source files

Use git to get the latest Mesa files from the git repository, from whatever branch is relevant. This document uses the convention X.Y.Z for the release being created, which should be created from a branch named X.Y.

Perform basic testing

The release manager should, at the very least, test the code by compiling it, installing it, and running the latest piglit to ensure that no piglit tests have regressed since the previous release.

The release manager should do this testing with at least one hardware driver, (say, whatever is contained in the local development machine), as well as on both Gallium and non-Gallium software drivers. The software testing can be performed by running piglit with the following environment-variable set:

And Gallium vs. non-Gallium software drivers can be obtained by using the following configure flags on separate builds:

Note: If both options are given in one build, both drivers will be compiled, but only one will be installed. The following command can be used to ensure the correct driver is being tested:

LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 glxinfo | grep "renderer string"
If any regressions are found in this testing with piglit, stop here, and do not perform a release until regressions are fixed.

Update version in file VERSION

Increment the version contained in the file VERSION at Mesa's top-level, then commit this change.

Create release notes for the new release

Create a new file docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.html, (follow the style of the previous release notes). Note that the sha256sums section of the release notes should be empty at this point.

Two scripts are available to help generate portions of the release notes:


The first script identifies commits that reference bugzilla bugs and obtains the descriptions of those bugs from bugzilla. The second script generates a log of all commits. In both cases, HTML-formatted lists are printed to stdout to be included in the release notes.

Commit these changes

Make the release archives, signatures, and the release tag

From inside the Mesa directory:

	make -j1 tarballs

After the tarballs are created, the sha256 checksums for the files will be computed and printed. These will be used in a step below.

It's important at this point to also verify that the constructed tar file actually builds:

	tar xjf MesaLib-X.Y.Z.tar.bz2
	cd Mesa-X.Y.Z
	./configure --enable-gallium-llvm
	make -j6
	make install

Some touch testing should also be performed at this point, (run glxgears or more involved OpenGL programs against the installed Mesa).

Create detached GPG signatures for each of the archive files created above:

	gpg --sign --detach MesaLib-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
	gpg --sign --detach MesaLib-X.Y.Z.tar.bz2
	gpg --sign --detach

Tag the commit used for the build:

	git tag -s mesa-X.Y.X -m "Mesa X.Y.Z release"

Note: It would be nice to investigate and fix the issue that causes the tarballs target to fail with multiple build process, such as with "-j4". It would also be nice to incorporate all of the above commands into a single makefile target. And instead of a custom "tarballs" target, we should incorporate things into the standard "make dist" and "make distcheck" targets.

Add the sha256sums to the release notes

Edit docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.html to add the sha256sums printed as part of "make tarballs" in the previous step. Commit this change.

Push all commits and the tag created above

This is the first step that cannot easily be undone. The release is going forward from this point:

	git push origin X.Y --tags

Install the release files and signatures on the distribution server

The following commands can be used to copy the release archive files and signatures to the server:

	scp MesaLib-X.Y.Z*
	cd /srv/
	mkdir X.Y.Z
	cd X.Y.Z
	mv ~/MesaLib-X.Y.Z* .

Back on mesa master, add the new release notes into the tree

Something like the following steps will do the trick:

	cp docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.html /tmp
        git checkout master
        cp /tmp/X.Y.Z.html docs/relnotes
        git add docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.html

Also, edit docs/relnotes.html to add a link to the new release notes, and edit docs/index.html to add a news entry. Then commit and push:

	git commit -a -m "docs: Import X.Y.Z release notes, add news item."
        git push origin

Update the website

NOTE: The recent release managers have not been performing this step themselves, but leaving this to Brian Paul, (who has access to the hosting for Brian is more than willing to grant the permission necessary to future release managers to do this step on their own.

Update the web site by copying the docs/ directory's files to /home/users/b/br/brianp/mesa-www/htdocs/ with:

Announce the release

Make an announcement on the mailing lists:, and Follow the template of previously-sent release announcements. The following command can be used to generate the log of changes to be included in the release announcement:

	git shortlog mesa-X.Y.Z-1..mesa-X.Y.Z

Adding Extensions

To add a new GL extension to Mesa you have to do at least the following.